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Slowdown Blues: Industrial output reaches 21-month low in March, contracts 0.1%

PTI     May 10, 2019

India's industrial production contracted by 0.1 per cent in March this year, the lowest in 21 months, mainly due to manufacturing sector slowdown, official data showed Friday.

Factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had grown by 5.3 per cent in March 2018, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

IIP's previous low was recorded in June 2017, when output shrank by 0.3 per cent.

On annual basis, IIP growth slowed to three-year low of 3.6 per cent in the 2018-19 fiscal as against 4.4 per cent in the previous fiscal.

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Industrial production growth was 4.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent in 2016-17 and 2015-16, respectively.

Meanwhile, IIP growth for February 2019 has been revised downwards to 0.07 per cent from 0.1 per cent earlier.

The manufacturing sector, which constitutes 77.63 per cent of the IIP, contracted by 0.4 per cent in March as compared to 5.7 per cent expansion in the year-ago month.

Capital goods output declined by 8.7 per cent in the month under review as against 3.1 per cent contraction in March 2018.

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Power sector growth slowed to 2.2 per cent in March as compared to 5.9 per cent a year ago. Mining sector growth also dropped to 0.8 per cent in March compared to 3.1 per cent expansion a year ago.

As per use-based classification, growth rates in March 2019 are 2.5 per cent in primary goods, (-) 2.5 per cent in intermediate goods and 6.4 per cent in infrastructure/ construction goods.

Similarly, consumer durables and consumer non-durables have recorded growth of (-) 5.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

In terms of industries, 12 out of 23 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown negative growth during March 2019 as compared to same month a year ago.

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